September 23, 2010
I'm not sure what inspired SureFire to dub its hardcore entry into the headlamp market the "Saint," but the past weekend proved the name in a manner I'm sure the company never anticipated. It wasn't digging through the rubble left by an IED in the Sandbox in an attempt to save a wounded buddy, and it wasn't during a black night high in the western Rockies, lighting a map in an attempt to navigate back to camp. No, it was in mud and dust that reeked with the tang of frustration and near-defeat as I fought the water in my flooded basement last weekend.
Through a long day, part of a night, and the entire following day I wore and used that light nonstop. With the intensity dial rolled up to about the halfway point, output was adequate to allow me to see well in my dank surroundings. When I needed to see every detail--such as when attempting to locate and isolate the leak(s), a quick crank on the knob brought the intensity up to 100 lumens, blinded my wife, and brought every nuance of the leaky wall into vivid relief. It's a good thing I don't live in the country anymore; I could spotlight deer with this thing.
Made from hard-anodized aerospace aluminum, the 9.4-ounce Saint is tough as nails; submersible to 3 feet for 30 minutes; and--applause to SureFire--it is dual-fuel capable and will run on one, two, or three lithium 123 batteries or two of the more-available AA batteries. A single battery compartment adapts to either type.
Output is remarkable as well: Intensity is variable from 1.0 to 100 lumens with the twist of an easily grasped knob. Life (with 123 lithiums installed) is 6 hours at 100 lumens, 144 hours at 1 lumen. And one lumen from the Saint is sufficient to read by. I've tried it. Until one considers the above capabilities, the MSRP of $185 seems high. It's not.
To this point I've used the Saint in hunting cabins, in predawn blinds in Texas mesquite country, and reading Terry Wieland's Dangerous Game Rifles in bed beside my sleeping wife, but the only thing I've done with it that challenged it was to run it for two days and half a night in my flooded basement.
Did I say challenged it? Scratch that. Nothing fazes the Saint.